Not only does Nashville offer the bright lights of Broadway stages, iconic restaurants and more than a handful of recording studios, but for a college-aged musician and songwriter, Caroline Romano, who has kept a pretty busy performance schedule, the city also offers some pretty good educational institutions, like Belmont University (BU).
When she first visited Nashville at the age of 13, Romano knew she wanted to be in Music City for good one day. And today, music has been her full-time career. The pop singer, now 18-years-old, whose latest single “Babysit” came out this fall, is now taking classes at BU in addition to her busy performance schedule, reminding us to never stop the educational flow.
Last year, Romano created quite the viral buzz surrounding her 2017 single, “Masterpiece, who then went on to share the stage with stars like Shawn Mendes, Kelsea Ballerini, Daya, and many more artists. Earlier this year, Romano released an empowering and dynamic single, “Damsel,” which focused on the importance of being your own hero.
Romano’s latest written track is her newly released, festive holiday-themed single, “Remember Christmas.” And in the spirit of this holiday season, Grit Daily spoke with Romano about her budding career, her music and what’s next to come in 2020.
Grit Daily: Let’s talk about the start of your career. When did you realize you wanted to be a full-time musician and songwriter?
Caroline Romano: I can’t really remember a time where I wasn’t dreaming of becoming a singer, songwriter, or musician in some capacity. The dream has always been in me! I’d say I definitely knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life when I visited Nashville for the first time at age 13. That was the first time I was able to play my songs for other people, and it all just clicked for me.
The beginning of my career held some of the most challenging, yet wonderful moments of my journey so far. After my first trip to Nashville at 13, my parents and I started visiting the city almost every month in order for me to perform and try to make connections within the city. I played any show I could get into, and most of the time, it was for an audience of less than five people.
However, it’s when I truly started to develop my craft and do what I love every single day. The early days of my career taught me so much about hard work and passion in order to reach my goals, and I am so grateful for them!
GD: What was the songwriting process like for your latest single, “Babysit”?
CR: I wrote “Babysit” in a co-writing session with some friends of mine. In talking about our experiences in teenage relationships and the challenges that come with them, the concept of “Babysit” was born.
We thought it was a really cool, unique way of discussing the topic of immaturity in these relationships, and it was a lot of fun to write! We wrote and recorded most of the song within a few hours, and I’m so proud of how it turned out.
GD: What was it like recording and making the lyric video for “Remember Christmas?”
CR: I remember having so much fun filming the lyric video for “Remember Christmas,” but I also remember it being one of the coldest nights of the year! I basically just ran around downtown Nashville in different outfits, including one particularly attractive “ugly Christmas sweater.”
Everything ended up looking amazing, though, and the decorations in some of the places we shot were just unreal. I really loved the entire experience of creating that lyric video and getting to bring the song to life.
GD: Is music a big part of your holiday celebrations? Do you have a go-to Christmas song or holiday album?
CR: Music has always been a huge part of celebrating the holidays for me and my family. We’re the people who listen to Christmas music the day after Halloween.
My favorite thing to do during the holidays is pick out one or two of our old Christmas CDs (Michael Bublé, obviously) and take a drive late at night to look at lights. I would be lying if I said that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey isn’t one of my favorite songs of all time. I listen to it pretty much year-round. Michael Bublé is also the epitome of everything Christmas, so he’s definitely one of my go-to holiday artists.
GD: What is your favorite part of the holiday season?
CR: Most of all, I think it’s the sense of connecting with family, friends, and even strangers. I truly believe people are just more genuine, and kind, and wonderful during the holidays. I love that it’s a time to focus on others, give to others, and reflect on my blessings and the things I love in life. I think the holidays kind of encompass the very best parts of life, and I guess that’s why they’re so wonderful.
GD: If you could perform with anyone, who would it be? What song would it be?
CR: This is a tough question! There are so many artists I only dream of getting to perform with, but I say it would be between Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, or YUNGBLUD. I love each of these artists for various, unique reasons, and I really admire their individual styles of performing. All of their music plays a huge part in my life, and it would be a dream to work with any of them one day. I think the song would need to be high-energy. Those are always the most fun to perform, and you’ve got some personality and flair behind it!
GD: What is your advice for newer artists looking to take up music full time?
CR: My biggest advice for any artist looking to do music full-time is to commit to your craft and your journey 100%. You can’t pursue a career like this, or pursue anything you’re truly passionate about, without all of your effort, all of the time. You have to make peace with the fact that you’re going to have to sacrifice a lot in the beginning, without much in return.
However, if it’s what you love, it will ALWAYS be worth it in the end!
GD: It’s almost 2020. What do you see yourself accomplishing in the new decade? What are your goals as an artist?
CR: In this new decade, I want to go as far and wide with my journey as I possibly can. I want to improve my craft each and every day, and I hope to reach new people with the music I’m writing. As an artist, I want to further develop my sound and discover new ways I can grow as an artist.
I think the sky is the limit for 2020, as well the rest of this new decade, and I believe great things will happen!